CHINA NEW ENERGY WANTS MORE
China renewable sector eyes govt support amid nuke safety fears
David Stanway (w/ Ken Wills), March 30, 2011 (Reuters)
"Officials from China's renewable energy sector called for more government support…[because the] reactor crisis in Japan put Beijing under increasing pressure to scale back its ambitious nuclear building plans…[C]lean energy sources such as wind, solar or hydropower could help fill the supply gap that might arise were China's nuclear programme to slow…
"Li Hejun, chairman of the China New Energy Chamber of Commerce, which lobbies on behalf of the renewable sector, said the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear complex should lead to a reassessment of China's long-term energy strategy…"
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"Before the tsunami left the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex on the brink of catastrophe, China was expected to raise its nuclear capacity target for 2020 to more than 80 gigawatts, double the original target set in 2007…Though only expected to contribute about 5 percent of China's total energy needs by 2020, nuclear power was set to play a big role in efforts to increase the share of non-fossil fuels to 15 percent of China's total energy mix, up from about 8 percent at present.
"Any scaling back of China's nuclear plans will require a commensurate increase in wind, solar and especially hydropower if Beijing were to meet its 2020 target…The renewables sector is already anticipating greater support...[The most recent report is] that Beijing would double its 2015 solar power target to 10 gigawatts of capacity…"
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"…[Shi Dinghuan, chairman of the China Renewable Energy Institute and an adviser to China's cabinet] said China could not abandon nuclear power, but must stop building ‘second-generation’ reactors and move to safer third- or even fourth-generation ones...The bulk of China's existing plants use imported second-generation technology, but six third-generation reactors are also under construction, designed by France's Areva and the U.S.-based Westinghouse, owned by Toshiba…
"After the Japanese tsunami…[it] remains unclear whether [China’s] long-term plans will change…The vice-chairman of the China Electricity Council, a non-government industry organisation, said…China should scale back its nuclear capacity target by at least 10 gigawatts…But China's top climate official, Xie Zhenhua…said that while China would adjust its nuclear plans in order to improve safety, overall goals would remain unchanged…"